Firm fined for injury to worker who looses three fingers
A napkin and tablecloth manufacturer has been fined £30,000 after a worker lost three fingers when her hand was crushed between two printer rollers.
The company which produces paper tablecloths, napkins and placemats was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the incident.
A 43-year-old mother-of-three from St Helens was cleaning the rollers while they were still operating. The cloth caught between the rollers and her hand was pulled in as she tried to retrieve it.
She suffered serious injuries to her right hand which resulted in her little finger being cut off, and her first and third fingers being severed below the second joint.
The court was told that the machine had been installed in May but the guard, designed to fit between the rollers, was not used and was left hanging down the side of the machine.
The investigation discovered the rollers were nearly always cleaned while the machine was still operating at full speed, rather than being stopped in stages as was meant to happen. A spatula, instead of a cloth, should also have been used to remove the dust and ink spots from the rollers to reduce the risk of something becoming caught.
The company pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay £12,549 towards the cost of the prosecution in addition to the fine.
The claimant said: "My life has completely changed since the incident. Not only can I not work, but I also can't do everyday things that people take for granted, like cooking, cleaning, writing and even picking things up. If it wasn't for the support of my family, who do most things for me now, I would be relying on the support of carers for the rest of my life.”